7 top tips for caring for a loved one living with dementia over Christmas
If you support a loved one living with dementia over the Christmas period there is a lot to consider, that is why the Alzheimer's Society have compiled a few tips to help you support your loved one (and yourself) this Christmas:
1. Put decorations up gradually
Introduce the Christmas environment slowly. Think about putting decorations up gradually over a few days so it doesn't come as a big change to the person's usual setting.
2. Keep it simple and familiar
Someone with dementia may feel overwhelmed over the Christmas period, so it's best not to overdo it. Keeping the day's activities low key will help your loved one relax. Sticking to a familiar routine is also a good idea where possible. Having meals at regular times and in familiar surroundings will help to limit any potential confusion.
3. Get everyone involved
There are many ways to involve people living with dementia at Christmas time - from something as simple as hanging a bauble on the tree to doing a spot of Christmas shopping. The important thing is that they feel included.
4. Create a quiet room
A large number of guests can be overwhelming, so ask family and friends to spread out their visits over the festive period. If things do get busy, designate one room in your house as a 'quiet room' where your loved one can relax without loud noise.
5. Bring back old memories
Whether it's an old song they used to enjoy or a classic Christmas film, find something fun you can take part in. Making a family photo album or memory box could be a nice way to spend time together.
6. Be mindful of food
Although many people eat a lot at Christmas, a full plate can be daunting for someone who has difficulties eating. If you're doing the serving, try not to overload your loved one's plate.
7. Be flexible
Its easy to get caught up in Christmas traditions, but your festive season might begin to look different as dementia progresses. Its always worth having a plan B, and be prepared to change your plans if a particular element isn't working.
Caddington Grove, our care home in Dunstable offers residential dementia care, as well as short breaks for carers supporting a loved one living with dementia, but who are in need of a well deserved break. Within our Dunstable care home you will also find our dementia friendly cinema club, a free community event which takes place twice a month for carers and their loved ones living with dementia. To find out more contact our team on 01582 320750 or email [email protected]